Since being unshackled from the EDJ, when not obsessing over whether her parents are getting enough to eat, obsessing that her kid is sexting the boyfriend, making coffee, drinking coffee, or feeding the three cats who allow her to live with them, VJ can be found reading or writing erotic romance – either solo as m/m author VJ Summers, or as the shorter, more quiet half of the “Violet Summers” writing team.
We had a few questions for Tessie Bradford about her writing and her life. Below are her answers. Feel free to ask a few of your own.
How do your characters enjoy their playtime? Rough? Playful? Tender? All of the above?
Definitely all of the above! When I decided to finally throw my hat into the ring of writing erotic romance, it was with a no holds barred attitude. A bit of pain combined with an interesting array of toys never fails to intrigue me. Humor is mandatory. If you can’t laugh and be playful with your partner or partners, then something very important is missing. Tender? Without a doubt! A loving, happily ever after conclusion is the payoff.
What’s the most challenging part of writing erotic romance?
When writing sex scenes, I not only have to be in a certain mind-set, but there can be nothing, and I mean nothing of a distracting nature going on around me. If my hubby and adult daughter are at home, I ‘announce’ my intent, and they know unless the police, a trip to the hospital, or fire extinguishers are involved, they’d best not disturb me!!
What is your writing process? Do you outline? Set specific hours?
No, I don’t outline or even jot down notes. I ponder/obsess and lose sleep over characters, plots, settings, conflicts etc. in my head until I feel ready to start typing. There’s no set schedule of when, or how much I write at any sitting; I just have to work it in around my full-time day job, family and life.
What role, if any, does your significant other play in your writing career?
My hubby of 27 years heads my Research and Development Department!!! Seriously, he is involved in every aspect of the process. Together we flesh out characters, plot, emotions, dialog and many times, physics. He listens patiently when I babble on about minutia, and talks me off the ledge when I experience my requisite meltdown over meeting a deadline and whether my work is worthy of publication.
How do you find ideas for your books? Real happenings? Dreams? A great imagination?
All of the above! I don’t know about the ‘greatness’ of my imagination, but it sure is active. Many of my heroes have come to me in dreams; very, very good dreams! A couple of my stories are based on real happenings and all of my heroines have varying degrees of me woven into their personalities.
Do you have any bad writing habits?
Yes – going for days without doing it, or getting into “the zone” and ignoring my family while I do it.
How has being published changed your life, if at all?
Being published has changed my life in a very profound way. I was 48 years old when I subbed my first book, Ageless Desires. I was both terrified and excited about putting myself “out there”. I never imagined the confidence and sense of self that would come with the experience.
Tessie Bradfordis a bestselling author of Erotic Romance who publishes with Resplendence Publishing and Ellora’s Cave. Megan’s Men, book #1 in her Fated Mates of Mesta series, stayed in Amazon’s Top 100 for erotic/sci-fi for over six months and a number of her titles have been bestsellers at ARe and other third party retailers. Her stories focus on journeys of sexual discovery. She loves creating strong independent women who, with the guidance and love of an alpha hero (or two or three), realize and embrace their submissive side. From the Coffee Time Review of Possessing Eleanor, “Ms. Bradford has taken a successful, independent woman and turned her into the perfect submissive without changing Ellie’s personality, something not many authors can manage so easily.”
It’s my pleasure to introduce Susan Wright a major advocate for our sexual freedom and founder of NCSF (National Coalition for Sexual Freedom). Susan is also an amazing writer. Below are just a few questions to help you get to know Susan and her work.
What are you writing now?
I’m focusing on New Adult romance novels right now that involve kink and power exchange. My first two are Role Play and Good Girl, with a 3rd novel in production now: The Exchange. I enjoy exploring the dynamics of a relationship that includes more to sex than physical passion – I like the emotional and psychological aspect where it can be full of laughter and fun, or it can make you question your own reason and make you discover uncomfortable things about yourself.
A lot of your books include BDSM and sexual themes, even the sci-fi and fantasy ones. Why do you like kinky sex so much?
I consider kink to be my sexual orientation. The gender of the person I’m intimate with is not as important as the power role they take on with me. Because I’ve explored this side of myself, and immersed myself in the BDSM communities, getting to know all sorts of kinks and relationships that people can have, I can’t help myself from including it in my novels. I managed to include it even a couple of my Star Trek novels – I wrote Dark Passions 1 & 2 for Pocket Books about the “bad girls” of Trek set in the mirror universe. I made Seven of Nine a lesbian and put her in a relationship with Kira Nerys. Also in the Best and the Brightest, I wrote about the first openly acknowledged gay couple in the Star Trek universe.
Why are you writing New Adult Romances instead of erotica or erotic romances?
I love New Adult romances because they focus on a life-changing moment in time for young people – when they’re falling in love with their partner and resolving issues from their past so they can move into adult life. It reminds me of when I moved to New York City when I was 23, and there was nothing but possibilities, and the only thing that stands between you and fulfillment is yourself. That’s why I set my romances in the city.
You’ve given hundreds of presentations on BDSM and the law and the media. Are you a lawyer?
No, I’m an activist with over 20 years experience with the kink communities. I started the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom in 1997 while I was doing the NOW SM Policy Reform Project. I realized that our people really needed someone to speak up for them because we are discriminated against in our jobs, in child custody and in criminal settings We still have a long way to go, but books like 50 Shades of Grey have helped by exposing people to kink in a non-threatening way. Persecution has dropped in the past couple of years also due to the strides our country has made when it comes to gay marriage and gays in the military.
Why did you become a kink activist?
This goes back to my writing, actually. I was on the verge of getting my first publishing contract, when I was outed to my editor by another writer. My prospective editor took me to dinner and told me that since I was in a relationship with a couple and exploring kink that I should “date” him, too, while we worked on my book. I refused, and I decided then that I would be out about who I was so nobody could try to use it against me again. I went on to have an amazing career as published author, and I’ve been wonderfully supported by all of my editors and publishers since then.
Susan Wright founded the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom in 1997, a national advocacy organization for the BDSM, swing and polyamory communities, and currently serves as spokesperson for the organization. She chaired the successful DSM-5 Revision Project, and coordinated the SM Policy Reform Project for the National Organization for Women (NOW) which resulted in rescinding their anti-BDSM policy at their national conference in 1999. Susan has written kinky Contemporary Romance novels as well as Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Science Fiction and Star Trek books. This USA Today Bestselling Author began her writing career in 1993, and has published more than 30 novels and nonfiction books on art and popular culture with Pocket Books, Penguin Group, St Martin’s Press and Kensington. www.susanwright.info
It’s my pleasure to introduce to you Sorcha Black one of our BDSM WRITERS CON workshop presenters. I don’t know about you, but I think she looks like a young Angelina Jolie. Maybe they’re related? Who knows? What I do know is that Sorcha is sharing her knowledge and co-hosting a workshop during BDSM Writers Con 2014. To learn more, read below.
Sorcha Black is the co-author of the Badass Brats series and writes about kinky bisexual women in poly relationships. Originally a fantasy writer, she started writing romance after meeting two nefarious authors on the internet. Sorcha enjoys tattoos and foul language.
How did you get into writing BDSM romance?
I’m not really sure. There I was one day, writing a fantasy novel that had some kink scenes, when suddenly I was smacked over the head by two romance authors who demanded I co-author a book with them. They were mean! Evil! Relentless! Poor, innocent fantasy writer that I was, I had no way of fending off their nefarious influence. They told me that if I wanted to maintain at least some of my innocence, I would do what they said. So I wrote the book with them, and did crits for them, and beta read for them. Leia and Cari call me their writing sub, but they didn’t give me a safeword. This writing thing is dub con, at best. 😉
What is your favorite book and why?
One Fish, Two Fish by Dr. Seuss. I can recite most of it by heart, which is always a selling point in literature for me.
What is your writing process?
Well, I can’t drink coffee. That being said, usually I start by hiding – I have several children that I need to hide from if I’m going to write uninterrupted for even a few minutes. From there, I generally stare at the blank screen on my computer for a while, then switch to Facebook, where my friends entertain me, then I run out of time. I do that repeatedly, for a week or two, then suddenly I’ll write a 20 page sex scene over two days. It’s not the most effective way to get a book done, but it’s all I’ve got. I’ve also been known to write brilliant sentences on scraps of paper at red lights. Occasionally getting honked at makes me feel pretty.
Why do you write so many books with co-authors?
Writing is like sex to me, in that respect. It’s more fun with a partner. Oh wait! And they make me! Yeah. *blinks innocently.
What books do you have planned for the future?
Currently, I’m working on the next Badass Brats book, The Dom with the Sex Zombies. I’m also in edits for my first fantasy novel, Ein, which features a poly BDSM relationship. After those are done, I have several other projects clamoring for my attention.
It’s time to get up close and personal with Shannon West. Discover why she writers M/M romances and her personal feelings about Dominance and submission as well as much more. Feel free to ask questions and leave your comments. We’ll be selecting a winner or two for a few ebook.
Do you use a pen name? If yes (or no), why?
Yes. In the beginning I was still working at a day job and one where my love for M/M and BDSM wouldn’t have been appreciated. So I found a pen name.
At what point did you decide you wanted to write BDSM/kinky-themed erotica?
After I’d read a few books on the subject. I found it really appealing but didn’t completely understand. I kept reading and studying to find the answers I was looking for and only when I felt ready did I venture to write anything. This was only after reading a HUGE amount of books and watching videos and doing research.
Was there something that happened to you in your life or career that made you want to begin thinking about writing BDSM/kinky-themed erotica?
Truthfully, there’s always been an interest, but I didn’t know what to call it. Since I was very young, I had this, but didn’t know what to do with it. I had a partner who was also interested, and we explored some areas of it, but neither of us knew much about it.
Is there one area of BDSM that you tend to write about more? Why do you think that area creeps into your writing more than some others?
Bondage and control, more than anything. No idea why, but it definitely appeals to me. Humiliation play is also a huge turn-on for me, but balanced with care and love.
What have you written in the past that you think your BDSM/kink fans might find interesting?
Taken in Hand, and Taken Firmly in Hand. The Education of Nicholas. And the latest is Love Taps, my current release.
What is your favorite fetish? Why?
Spanking. It combines a lot of my hot buttons—control, submission and humiliation play. My latest novel Love Taps explores that a bit.
Do you attend BDSM, kink, or fetish conferences? Or do you attend any other “vanilla” type of conferences? Attending any in the near future you want to mention?
I’ll be in New York in August 2014 at the BDSM Writer’s Conference there. I attend other conferences like GayRomLit in October of each year and the upcoming Rainbow Conference in Tampa.
It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Scarlet this week. She’s been writing for several years and living the lifestyle with her Master (husband). Scarlet will be presenting a workshop on “creating contracts” in your D/s relationships. If she hasn’t answered your question below, be sure to ask her as she’ll be available for comments.
Scarlet, when you first started writing, did you have any idea you’d be writing BDSM/kinky books?Do you write in any other genre?
I wrote my first short story when I was eight, so I certainly didn’t then! When I began pursuing writing seriously as an adult, I didn’t even anticipate being a romance writer, let alone including BDSM in them. I had been working on a metaphysical novel, which – although it does contain a great deal of sex and some bondage – definitely is not a romance novel. I don’t want to be trapped in to always having to end with a “happily ever after.”
Was there something that happened to you in your life or career that made you want to begin thinking about writing BDSM/kinky themed erotica?
I just got tired of the negative portrayal of BDSM in the media, particularly in TV shows and movies. We aren’t perverts or freaks just because we are Doms or subs or whatever. Penn State covered up Sundusky’s pedophilia for years, and the Catholic Church played musical parishes with their priests for decades, if not longer. In one of those monolithic non-denom churches here in Louisiana, the (married) pastor had an affair with the church secretary, so the board sent her out of state with hush money. A new study found a correlation between BDSM and better mental health, but according to screenwriters, WE are the villains.
What is your favorite fetish? Why?
Being bound and blindfolded. I love surrendering complete control. During a scene, I escape all my responsibilities and focus only on the present; my worries fade from my consciousness. People not in the lifestyle don’t understand how liberating submission can be. I read once, “Sometimes not being in control is the most beautiful thing in the world,” and it’s true. There is freedom in submission!
Is there one area of BDSM that you tend to write about more? Why do you think that area creeps into your writing more than some others?
Bondage, discipline, Dominance and submission. I write what I know.
Do you do any “hands-on” research when you’re writing BDSM/kinky themed erotica?
Often for a scene, I will ask my husband (Master) to try it out with me to confirm it is logistically feasible. I don’t want readers rolling their eyes and thinking, “That’s not even possible!”
. Have you ever heard that a fan might have tried something from one of your stories and liked it?
Not yet, but I did include blindfolds in the goodie bags I gave out at a conference recently. I hope the ladies will take them home and try them out!
Scarlet Hawthorne loves including elements of BDSM in her erotic romances because, as a 24/7 submissive in a DD household, she hopes to reverse the misinformation and negative stereotypes promulgated in the media. She has also published mainstream romances in a variety of genres, from paranormal to romantic suspense, under other pen names. Scarlet’s upcoming release is DEADLINE – a romantic suspense thriller with plenty of bondage thrown in for good behavior. Her current project is the M/M Romance, BETWEEN THE NOTES. Visit her website for more information or find her on Facebook.
What do aliens, farmer’s and ménage stories have in common? Does the idea of anal probing come to mind? What about all those lickable farm boys? No Princess Bride here, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover what can happen with when Robin L. Rotham gets behind her computer and lets her imagination soar.
Why do they call you the Dirty Alien Farm wife?
My fellow Smutketeers, RG Alexander and Eden Bradley, gave me that moniker because I’m a wholesome-looking farm wife and mother of three, but I’m well known for my kinky ménage stories about aliens and farmers. (Not together, of course. Or not yet, anyway. Hmm…)
How were you introduced to the BDSM culture?
As I was to most things, through books. In particular, Eden Bradley’s The Dark Garden. Once I read that, there was no going back. I’d been aware of my own kinky submissive nature all my life, but up until that point, I’d felt it was a shortcoming, something to be ashamed of. Once the power dynamic was finally explained to me, it was like receiving corrective lenses after years of being legally blind. I could suddenly see the D/s dynamic at work all around me, whether or not people acknowledged it, or were even aware of it as such. I wished I’d discovered D/s twenty years earlier—it would have helped me cope with an alpha bosshole I’d felt victimized by.
Are you active in the BDSM community?
Living in rural Nebraska and being married to a shy, mostly vanilla farmer doesn’t allow for much face-time, but I’m a member of an online BDSM community, and I get to a real club whenever I can and occasionally scene with appropriately sadistic dominant figures approved by my husband.
How has BDSM influenced your writing?
All of my books contain elements of dominance and submission, though they’re more obvious in some books than in others. I always like to explore the ways those elements shape my characters and how they influence their interactions. I also enjoy exploring polyamory in my books—it’s a concept that just makes sense to me. I don’t believe that any one person can be everything another needs or wants, no matter how perfect they may be for each other. Another thing I enjoy is pushing my characters’ definitions of their sexual orientation. BDSM has taught me that none of us are set in stone—we’re all constantly evolving as sexual beings, though we’re not all self-aware enough, or adventurous enough, to appreciate it.
Why have you continued to publish with small publishers rather than heading for New York?
I learned very early on—with my first royalty check, in fact—that e-publishing had it all over traditional publishing, at least for me. Not only did I receive actual royalties within weeks of publication, but I had the freedom to write whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to. I could be as creative and kinky as I dared—and believe me, I’ve dared plenty—and do it without sacrificing my family to a do-or-die deadline. I prefer my writing to work for me, not the other way around.
Robin L. Rotham is a bestselling, award-winning author of erotic romance for Samhain Publishing and Ellora’s Cave. Though her genres run the gamut from contemporary to futuristic and sci-fi, and even to fairy tales, Robin’s stories all include ménage and BDSM themes. She loves exploring evolving sexualities and the fluidity of D/s dynamics in her writing. Robin is married to a farmer, has three teenagers, and lives in rural Nebraska.
I was asked to do a blog post for the conference and of course, as with me…I’m late with it. Not because I didn’t have time, but because being asked to tell readers and others four to five things about myself stumped me. What things would you find interesting? What would you want to know that I have not shared on some sort of social media yet? I’ll start with three quick things-random facts about myself and then tell you why I write what I write.
Okay, first things first- Three random facts- I hate heights, I have a fear of bridges-have since I was sixteen and I am not sure exactly why- but anytime I have to drive over them-long ones that is- I am petrified. Lastly, I am crazy. LOL- just ask my editor! Okay…now on to the meat of the blog post.
My first series, Devoured Club Series, focuses on the world of kink, a BDSM club facing issues of one’s desires, pasts, and futures. It is not an uncommon topic for this conference or for my fellow authors, presenters and hosts. I have been interested in the BDSM lifestyle for a few years, not as many as some that I share this honor with, but nonetheless I have dedicated countless hours to research and practice–leaving me more and more to discover. I have made it a point–hopefully one my readers and potential readers will see–to focus on the emotional aspects of the lifestyle, not just the kink. Don’t get me wrong the kink is fun but from my experiences and research I know there is a deeper connection–an emotional one between Dominant and submissive. It is that emotional response and relationship that I focus on and explore within my novels. The current novel I am working on takes my exploration further as I dive into bisexual, poly relationships looking at the connection between a Dominant and his submissives.
I am a practicing submissive although with time constraints not as much as I want to be. The reasons behind the desire–my need for emotional connection–for the trust that is instilled within my partner–my Dominant and the freedom that I feel with the adrenaline rush. The lifestyle is different for everyone and that is what it is for me. I crave the connection, maybe because my childhood was wrought with isolation of my own doing. Maybe because it makes me feel alive. I want to share that with my readers and bring a different view of the lifestyle to the market although I am surrounded by amazing authors and storytellers. The genre is filled with amazing stories that share the connection, plot and lifestyles, all the intricacies.
I am proud to be part of the genre with these amazing authors. I hope that my intentions shine through my work. I look forward to talking with anyone that wants to talk. I am always available through my social media sites and email.
Miranda Baker is the author of the Come Again and Double Helix series for Samhain Publishing. A longtime reader of smut, she decided the best way to get her groove back after having three kids would be to write some. Exploring the world of BDSM on the page sparked a craving for real life experience, so she and her husband began switching. In her opinion, fantasy is less complicated than reality, but not nearly as rewarding. *wink*
What was the inspiration for your Come Again series?
I overheard a sexy sales girl in a condom shop waxing eloquent on the marvels of silicone-based lubricant, and Crystal, my bisexual psychic, was born. She works in a sex shop called Come Again, and her friends and co-workers inspired the other books in the series. The Come Again girls run the gamut from straight to bisexual to gay, but all of them are kinky, in one way or another. The upcoming book in the series (March 2014) is called GIRL TROUBLE, and is a lesbian BDSM erotic romance. Writing such a wide variety of sexualities has been challenging in terms of building a niche with readers, but I believe love is love and sexy is sexy, all the way across the rainbow. My characters are who they are—just like the people I meet in real life.
Which is easier: writing kink or doing it?
Oh man, writing it, at least for this woman. I can command the psychology of my characters, and I can do research about BDSM. I can’t predict how I’m going to respond during a scene. I can’t control my husband when I’ve agreed to bottom. After fifteen years of marriage, we can finish each other’s sentences, but we can’t read each other’s minds. Fun kink requires communication, energy, and determination…at least for this couple. That’s why I’m so excited about BDSM Writers Con. My husband and I are attending together, and we plan to have fun while learning about our favorite form of recreation.
Top or bottom?
For me, that depends on the phase of the moon, how many deadlines I have, and whether I’m in the middle of writing a book or editing one. I don’t think it’s like that for everyone. When I get stressed out, I don’t enjoy having more demands placed on me. I want to top. When I’m writing a book, and I’m firmly in the creative zone, I like to brainstorm. I’ll do what I’m told and like it. Luckily, I don’t have to pick one or the other because my husband is an equal opportunity kinkster. He’s up for anything, which is how Chapter Ten of SoloPlay came into being. Yes, sideways/anal/fingers/pretzel position is physically possible. But my husband is still annoyed that I called him up to the bedroom to make sure, then sent him back down to watch the kids while I wrote the rest of the scene.
A total freebie! When I was writing GIRL TROUBLE, there were a few scenes that didn’t fit into the timeline, but I got excited every time I thought about writing them. Destiny and Johnny from BOTTOMS UP teaching Bonita’s girlfriend how to be a Domme? I wanted to be a fly on the wall for that. I thought readers might want to be there, too. Samhain Publishing has graciously agreed to release TOP STUDENT as a free prequel to GIRL TROUBLE. So…if a forty page BDSM sex scene that segues from m/f to f/f to f/f to m/f/f sounds like fun to you, order it wherever fine kinky e-books are sold!
Marla is a fabulous author with a gift for writing and making your heart soar with excitement. With over sixty books, there’s one…or more… perfect for everyone.
We wanted you to get to know Marla Monroe a little more so we asked her a few questions. Feel free to post your own in our comments section. She’d love to hear from you.
With so many conferences to choose from, what made you choose to attend BDSM Writers Con?
I think it will be fascinating to talk to other writers about the subject and learn more about it from those who
practice/live the lifestyle. There are more flavors of BDSM and Kink than most people are aware of. There is no right or wrong way as long as it’s SS&C. We are all unique and need different things in our lives for pleasure, comfort, safety, and growth. No one is exactly the same, so a lifestyle can’t be exactly the same to work for everyone. Plus, it’s always relaxing to be able to be myself in a group of people who share some of my interests and, well, kinks!
What has been your most interesting and difficult scene to write?
The emotional ones are the most difficult for me. I want them to convey that intense feeling of need and how each of the characters in the scene are feeling and what the interaction means to each of them. Just saying “it felt good” or “she came” doesn’t say anything about their emotional, psychological and intellectual status and growth. When I get one to where I feel it is right, I’m usually worn out and even emotional myself. That’s a good feeling.
Do you only write BDSM or do you have other themes or genres?
I write whatever my characters tell me to write. I’m a writing submissive in that my characters are in charge. I have everything from Cowboys to Bikers to Space Station as well as Contemporary and even a type of post-apocalyptic series. My BDSM series is Knights in Black Leather but many of my other series have BDSM of some type in several of the books. I easily identify with the subject and enjoy writing it.
Marla Monroe has been writing professionally for about eleven years now. Her first book with Siren was published in January of 2011. At this time, she has over 60 books available. She loves to write and spends every spare minute either at the keyboard or reading. She writes everything from sizzling-hot contemporary cowboys, emotionally charged BDSM, and dangerously addictive shifters to science fiction ménages with the occasional badass biker thrown in for good measure.
Marla lives in the southern US and works full-time at a busy hospital. When not writing, she loves to travel, spend time with her cats, and read. She’s always eager to try something new and especially enjoys the research for her books. She loves to hear from readers about what they are looking for next in their reading adventures.